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Benefits of Yin Yoga

January 21, 2017

Yin Yoga is a practice of stillness, patience and non-reactivity.  An introspective practice. I find all that I learned in Vipassana meditation holds true to this practice, and I continue to cultivate it as I take time for Yin yoga.

It is a practice that makes you more attuned to what is happening within your body.  We gain body intelligence which in turn allows us to better know ourselves from inside out. We become more curious to what is happening on the physical level and through time we open up to self-observation, releasing control as we move into stillness.

If you have never been, it is a practice where postures are held for 3-5 minutes. Instead of explaining the class structure and why we do this practice, here are 10 benefits for making time for a practice that may look boring from the outside, but I assure that there is plenty going on.

1o Benefits of Yin Yoga

* Held postures help restore your range of motion as the muscles and fascia are lengthened.

* Yin Yoga revitalizes the tissues of the body. As postures are held, a subtle release may take you deeper into the posture, as tissues lengthen, hydrate and become more pliable.

* Gratitude for you body develops as you move into deeper layers of yourself, tuning into the innerworkings, connections, internal organs and sensations which has the potential to move you to Santosha (contentment for what is  happening in that moment).

* The practice helps you slow down and be within stillness. The external world of deadlines, commitments and obligations fade away.

* Yin yoga teaches us self-compassion, as mind, body, emotions and spirit are nurtured.

* Held postures allow us to connect with our emotions.  Our bodies hold emotions from the past that may have not been processed, so sensitive thoughts, feelings and memories may rise to the surface.  Yin yoga teaches us to sit with it in a non-reactive observing manner, like equanimity during meditation.

* Resiliency to stress is cultivated as anxiety or stress may rise during held postures and we are called to soften, breath and adapt to the ups and downs within the class and respond with nurturing and grace.

* Yin yoga taps into the Parasympathetic Nervous System with the diaphramic (belly breathing).  Most of us live in fight-or-flight mode where the Sympathetic Nervous System is in overload. Stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System helps with sleep, digestion, blood pressure, stress and immune functions. The body is given an opportunity to take a sigh.

* Prepares us for meditation.  Stillness creates perfect conditions for the brain to gain more clarity and calmness.

* Balance is cultivated. We live more in an active world (yang), leaving little time for quiet introspection. Integrating some yin restores equilibrium, wholeness

* BONUS – Helps you get comfortable within the uncomfortable. This relates to a few points above, staying calm and present during intensity and gross sensations. Observing without judgement or attachments, which leads to acceptance of what is the present reality.  The current reality is the only thing that is real.

My hope is that one or more points above will entice you to go to a yin class, or at least do the one attached to this newsletter (or on my YouTube channel).  Happy yinning! :-)